back to article Half a billion for BLOODY BIG telescope in Chile

The planned largest optical telescope in the world, the Giant Magellan Telescope looks to go ahead, with its consortium signing off on the US$500 million build cost. The telescope is ambitious engineering: seven mirrors spanning a total of 25 metres, which the project says will focus “six times” the amount of light collected …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Not the biggest for long

    You have to do your willy-waving while you can in this game - the ELT is already under construction and will be a 39.3m monster when it achieves first light in 2024.

  2. FozzyBear


    Although as powerful as the telescope may be, it still could not find my care factor for work today

    1. TitterYeNot

      Re: Impressive

      "Although as powerful as the telescope may be, it still could not find my care factor for work today"

      Nor powerful enough to see the tiny violin I feel compelled to play whenever MPs complain that they really need that 10% pay rise...

      1. Mark 85 Silver badge

        Re: Impressive

        For that, a microscope, possibly an electron one, would work better than a telescope I'd think.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I though Bloody Big was going to be the next generation.

    Just before the FBT.

    Also, can the one in Hawaii be re-designed as a Newtonian please. Just to get the N in TMNT.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Schmidt? Now there's a good name for an astronomer.

    1. harmjschoonhoven

      Re: Schmidt?

      That is Brian Schmidt for you not Bernhard Woldemar Schmidt the one-armed opticial genius.

  5. Lionel Baden

    why not in space

    the way this is built sounds like it would make a great replacement for hubble,

    Great news is, I heard space travel is cheap as chips now too ;) well a few quid cheaper

  6. Sealand
    Thumb Up

    You gotta love astronomy

    “we can see smaller things, further away than ever before”

    "Smaller" = whoppin' big ancient stars that may not even be there by now.

    Blows my mind every time I think about it.

  7. AbelSoul

    Re: European Extremely Large Telescope...

    .... also to be built in Chile

    'Course it is - otherwise how could it possibly claim to be European?

    1. phuzz Silver badge

      Re: European Extremely Large Telescope...

      Most big telescopes now are built in relatively underpopulated areas to avoid light pollution, and there's not enough of those in Europe any more.

      This of this as being a European telescope in the same way that Rosetta is a European space probe.

      1. Tom 7 Silver badge

        Re: European Extremely Large Telescope...

        Nowadays its more of a get as high as possible so there ain't so much air to get through! Its nice and high up where they're building these monsters so you get less weather, less air to reflect back any street lights, less wobbly air to correct for. There are places in europe that high (2500m+) but the vibration from snowboarders hitting the doors would make it impractical.

        I'd be interested to see if their are any figures for less brain power in the scientists who work at this height - I notice problems standing up these days.

        1. CABVolunteer

          Re: European Extremely Large Telescope...

          It's not just the altitude - locating the devices in Chile is to benefit from the extraordinarily dry Atacama climate. Not only are there few clouds to interrupt viewing, but the absence of water molecules in what little atmosphere is above them allows better performance especially in the infra-red.

          PS: There ain't no scientists out there - they're all crouched over their internet-connected terminals back here in Europe when they're not arguing their latest theory at some fancy conference. It's only the poor bloody engineers assembling them and positioning them out there (and, yes, they do need supplementary oxygen).

          PPS: These monsters may seem somewhat poor-value-for-money when we have so many homeless, but in comparison with what governments like to spend on things that go bang.........

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: European Extremely Large Telescope...

            Apart from the altitude, dry air, and low light pollution, Chile has two big advantages for astronomy - it's politically stable, and even more importantly it's in the southern hemisphere, unlike all those North American and European observatories, so sees a different region of the sky.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: European Extremely Large Telescope...

          the vibration from snowboarders hitting the doors

          the vibration from fucking snowboarders hitting every fucking thing on the entire fucking mountain. Fuckers.

          FTFY (I think you can guess what the first F stands for)

  8. Graham Marsden

    Extremely Large Telescope? Giant Telescope...?

    From the late, great Sir Pterry's works...

  9. Elmer Phud

    "“we can see smaller things, further away than ever before”,"

    Right you are, Ted.

  10. Chris G


    For some reason this reads as Eel Tea every time I see it.

  11. Anakin

    Just tax FIFA bribes

    And we can build any telescope

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